1. Set realistic goals. Let’s get real, are you really going to wake up at 6am to run across the city? If yes, great. But if you're more likely to press snooze, then don’t sign yourself up for failure. Instead figure out what time of the day works best for your schedule and your energy levels and commit to working out then. What matters most is that those goals are both realistic and easily accessible. You can save that big run across the city for days you are craving a challenge.
2. Get it on the books. Treat your workout like it is work. Put it in your calendar and block it off so that you don’t double book. And keep reminding yourself that a workout is just, if not more, important than the rest. Because if you don’t feel your best, you won’t be able to give your best to the most important parts of life.
3. Keep it fresh. It is very unlikely you will ever convince yourself to do something you dislike, so constantly search for things you do. Substitute running with hikes or trail jogging, do weight training by way of barre method or CrossFit class, get your cardio on the dance floor or in a Zumba class and sign up for that dodge ball team you’ve been secretly eyeing. Constantly trying new things with both hold your attention and force the body to break out of muscle memory. Watching daily deal sites like Living Social or Gilt City can be a great way to try something new at a lower price. Any time you find those discounted, introductory deals snag them. Who knows what you may learn to love.
4. Every step counts. Literally. Maybe you don’t have time or energy after a 12hr work day to go out and lift weights, but what you can always squeeze into your daily life is more steps. Wear a pedometer (I love the Fitbit) and start tracking your daily activity. Experts say you should walk 10.000 steps a day for better health. So start walking to work, parking your car 4 blocks away and walking to lunch away from your desk. These efforts count and you should be getting credit for them!
5. Reward yourself. Reaching our goals is something to celebrate – especially regarding exercise! Set monthly goals such as 30 minutes a day of walking, 2 CrossFit classes a week, or Saturday morning yoga class. Whatever falls in-line with your realistic goals. Check in with yourself on the first of every month and as ask if you really, truly did meet those goals. If so, treat yourself! Have a massage, get some new workout gear, or treat yourself to a nice meal. Rewards are great ways to take care of ourselves and reinforce positive behavior.